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Ben Vereen to light up Jack London stage

THE LEGENDARY BEN VEREEN takes the stage Saturday, Aug. 9, in the winery ruins of Jack London State Historic Park.

THE LEGENDARY BEN VEREEN takes the stage Saturday, Aug. 9, in the winery ruins of Jack London State Historic Park.

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The actor/singer/dancer Ben Vereen brings his multiple talents to the Transcendence Artist Series for the very first time on Saturday, Aug. 9. Audiences will not want to miss the show about which the Newark Examiner wrote, “… a lesson in performance energy … a tour de force … the lasting impression of a man who loves life, wants you to love life, and has mastered both his medium and his message.”

Steppin’ Out with Ben Vereen has been dazzling audiences around the world. The show highlights Vereen’s unique artistry, combining a tribute to Broadway, Frank Sinatra and a very special tribute to Sammy Davis Jr. Few entertainers today are as accomplished or versatile as Vereen.

His legendary performances transcend time and have been woven into the fabric of this country’s artistic legacy. His first love and passion is and always will be the stage.

On Broadway, Vereen has appeared in “Wicked,” “Fosse,” “I’m Not Rappaport,” “Hair,” “Jesus Christ Superstar,” “Grind,” “Pippin,” “Jelly’s Last Jam” and “A Christmas Carol.”

His role in “Pippin” garnered him both the prestigious Tony Award and Drama Desk Award for Best Actor in a Musical.

While performing worldwide, Vereen’s acting credits continue to create memorable roles that stand the test of time, such as the unforgettable Chicken George in “Roots” and Louis Armstrong in “Louis Armstrong – Chicago Style.” His own network television shows include “Ben Vereen: His Roots” (garnering seven Emmy Awards), “Tenspeed and Brownshoe” and “You Write the Songs.”

Adding even more excitement to the evening will be a sneak preview performance before Vereen takes stage, featuring performers from “Broadway Under The Stars,” Griffin Matthews from the Broadway-bound “Witness Uganda,” (playing Atwood Ranch in Sonoma Valley on Tuesday, Aug. 19) and Leah Sprecher and Stephan Stubbins from TTC’s upcoming “Oh What a Beautiful Mashup” concert at Paradise Ridge Winery on Thursday, Aug. 28.

Similar to Transcendence Theatre’s Broadway Under The Stars concerts, the evening with Ben Vereen will begin with a pre-show picnic on the great lawn of the park starting at 5 p.m. with food and wine available for purchase, with the performance beginning at 7:30 p.m.

Also produced by the Transcendence Theatre Company, the 2014 Broadway Under the Stars summer concert series in Jack London State Historic Park continues, with “The Music of the Night,” Aug. 14, 15, 16, 22, 23, 24, featuring world-class singers and dancers sharing beautiful music that will inspire and ignite the audience, as well as to close the season, the “Gala Celebration Concert,” Sept. 5 and 6.

Transcendence Theatre was named Broadway World San Francisco’s 2013 “Theatre of the Year.” Over the last two seasons the company has given over $72,000 to Jack London State Historic Park, while winning the Broadway World San Francisco award for Best Special Theater Event in both of its first two seasons.

Prices range from $42 to $125 for the “Broadway Under the Stars” concerts in Jack London State Park and Steppin’ Out with Ben Vereen. Seats are limited.

To purchase tickets, visit transcendencetheatre.org or call 877-424-1414.